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View Full Version : TR2/3/3A 1954 California Blackplate TR2



TR6BobNF
03-29-2012, 09:28 PM
Any of you western guys see the '54 California black plate TR2 on Craigslist? Found it first on Bring-A=Trailer Dot Com. I don't know much about pricing on TR2's and 3's but it seems to be mostly all there. Is the $10,500 ask optimistic or on the mark?
Craigslist (https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/2928421233.html)

Bob_Muzio
03-29-2012, 09:37 PM
I don't know about the car value but did California have black plates in '54? I thought that the black plates started in '63 and prior to that they were yellow.
Bob

mrsprite
03-29-2012, 09:57 PM
I don't know about the car value but did California have black plates in '54? I thought that the black plates started in '63 and prior to that they were yellow.
Bob

In 1963 California replaced ALL license plates with the black & yellow ones and from that point on that plate would stay with the car. So, even though it's a '54, it's still an original black plate car because in '63 the state issued one to it and mandated that it stay with the car forever (even when sold to someone else).

I bought my '59 Bugeye 6 years ago from a guy in California and it too had the original black plates on it.

TR3driver
03-29-2012, 10:16 PM
Guess it depends on your definition of "original black plate car". As noted, the car would not have had black plates when it was new. But the plates were not replaced by California after 1969 or so (unless those are fakes).

Note that it doesn't necessarily mean the car never left CA, only that someone held onto the plates. I got a pair of black plates with my TR3, and was able to get them re-assigned to the car based on an old registration slip from 1975. Since I didn't get a title, there was no proof that the car was not registered in some other state in the meantime. And of course I now have a title.

PS Pricing seems maybe just a bit high to me, but not out of the ballpark. The "longdoor" adds a certain cachet, but there were some 4000 of them made so it's not a super-rare car. I paid less than half that for my TR3 with the original engine, original disc brakes (a big plus to me since I drive it regularly) and no big holes cut in the sheet metal. Only rust repair needed was under the stone guards.

mrsprite
03-29-2012, 10:42 PM
Guess it depends on your definition of "original black plate car". As noted, the car would not have had black plates when it was new. But the plates were not replaced by California after 1969 or so (unless those are fakes).

Note that it doesn't necessarily mean the car never left CA, only that someone held onto the plates. I got a pair of black plates with my TR3, and was able to get them re-assigned to the car based on an old registration slip from 1975. Since I didn't get a title, there was no proof that the car was not registered in some other state in the meantime. And of course I now have a title.


True......I suppose one needs old registrations to know for sure and to prove its provenance. This is especially true today since now you can register a classic car with period plates that weren't originally issued to it.

JohnB
03-30-2012, 01:15 AM
And what's with the 4 numbers on that plate?

My black plate has 3 letters and only 3 numbers.

TomMull
03-30-2012, 07:51 AM
Not a western guy nor a black plate guy but the car seems unusually good to me, living here in the rusty northeast. The price, then, seems very fair to me. Good original long doors are very hard to find. I'm tempted, even considering an additional $2000 shipping fee and a flight to California to confirm the condition.
Fortunately, my better half will probably not allow this to happen.
Tom

GilsTR
03-30-2012, 09:00 AM
I spotted this car earlier this week. Wish I was in a position to take advantage of it. The car I think is about 2 1/2 hour ride from me...but if one of you is seriously interested in this car...I would make a real effort to go there Sunday and give you a report. I know something about the TR 3's...but am not a total expert. PM me today if you would like me to go...and leave your phone number. Gil NoCal

rusty55
03-30-2012, 09:10 AM
And what's with the 4 numbers on that plate?

My black plate has 3 letters and only 3 numbers.

3 letter and 3 numbers were for regular vehicles
1 letter 5 numbers were for commercial vehicles
soooo. probably not original plates.

JohnB
03-30-2012, 01:47 PM
I agree with Randall.........and I might add there were some 4600 of the later short doors made before they went to the TR3. So really not that much more rare on the long doors.

Would really like to see inside the engine compartment, looks like the original master brake/clutch cylinder is sitting in the trunk.

TR3driver
03-30-2012, 02:48 PM
soooo. probably not original plates.

Which would mean you couldn't get them assigned to the car. The "year of manufacture" program only applies to plates that were current in the model year of the car; the only other way to keep your black plates is to prove that they were assigned to the car when they were current.

My DMV actually tried to get my black plates assigned under the YOM program, but Sacramento rejected it. I had to come up with an old registration slip (fortunately the PO's sister had one) to show that they had been previously assigned.

rusty55
03-30-2012, 06:43 PM
soooo. probably not original plates.

Which would mean you couldn't get them assigned to the car. The "year of manufacture" program only applies to plates that were current in the model year of the car; the only other way to keep your black plates is to prove that they were assigned to the car when they were current.

My DMV actually tried to get my black plates assigned under the YOM program, but Sacramento rejected it. I had to come up with an old registration slip (fortunately the PO's sister had one) to show that they had been previously assigned.

Which is what I'm hoping to do. I have a nice set of yellow plates from 1960 for my car. I'll try it one of these days.

Banjo
03-31-2012, 09:56 AM
Wow.. my 54 short door is at about the same shape minus the giant holes cut in the rear panel, and of course has no CA black plates. I think mine may even have less rust. for $10k I'd deliver it to a reasonable distance from here
(PA, VT) ! along with all the extra TR parts I have. I'd have to borrow a truck and trailer......

6TTR3A
03-31-2012, 07:53 PM
<span style="font-size: 11pt"><span style="color: #006600">Rusty 55
Your yellow/black plates are much easier to register than the black ones.
Call the CA DMV License plate verification line: 1-800-777-0133,option 1 (English),0 for agent. You will get a live person who will let you know if your number is good.
Take your plates, your title &amp; registration and the existing plates to a DMV office along with a lunch &amp; hope you get someone who knows how to do a YOM.
Frank </span></span>

rusty55
03-31-2012, 08:36 PM
<span style="font-size: 11pt"><span style="color: #006600">Rusty 55
Your yellow/black plates are much easier to register than the black ones.
Call the CA DMV License plate verification line: 1-800-777-0133,option 1 (English),0 for agent. You will get a live person who will let you know if your number is good.
Take your plates, your title &amp; registration and the existing plates to a DMV office along with a lunch &amp; hope you get someone who knows how to do a YOM.
Frank </span></span>

Great. Thanks for the info. I did call and plates are clear. I'll be making an appt. soon and getting the paperwork started.